photography and digital scrapbooking


Afternoon at Serenbe

Serenbe is a 900 acre eclectic community southwest of Atlanta, Georgia. The surrounding area is known as Chattahoochee Hill Country and incorporates portions of four counties. Development in this 40,000 acre area emphasizes smart growth, also known as sustainable living. Curious about this secluded area, we decided to check it out yesterday. From our home it was a 45 minute drive. The last five minutes were on a long, winding lane through fenced livestock pastures.

We started our exploration of Serenbe with a delicious brunch at The Hil. Later, we spoke to some friendly residents who invited us to walk the nature trail (not a public area) and gave us a map and brief orientation. For a short stretch the trail borders a pasture, but unfortunately no horses were present. The round-trip hike took us about two hours and provided some interesting sights and much-needed exercise.

The homes at Serenbe are mostly upscale and each has a custom design. Greenspace includes vast wooded and pasture areas, stables, a lake, and organic gardens. We are looking forward to the Saturday Produce Market next spring when strawberries are available.

We enjoyed the brief glimpse of the Serenbe lifestyle. When we return, we plan to visit the interesting shops and bakery we missed during this visit.


Doing What I Love

It all started with a magazine. I had recently discovered scrapbooking and adored creating layouts of all types with paper and adhesive. I was eagerly reading everything I could find on the subject and happened to spot information about digital scrapbooking. The layouts amazed me. The embellishments looked dimensional and I saw photo techniques I never imagined. I barely knew how to use my old computer, but wanted to do what was necessary to take my creativity in this direction. Working in Photoshop, I taught myself the skills I needed. Almost six years later, I am still learning new techniques and have upgraded my computer, camera, and Photoshop. Over the years, I created hundreds of layouts and have been fortunate to have some accepted for print and online publication.

Recently my life has happily changed due to a new venture in digital scrapbook product design. I have been warmly welcomed as part of the talented design team at Happy to Create. Working intently over the past six weeks, I now have five new products offered in the Happy To Create store.

My blog, Visioning, will be as important to me as ever. My work is essentially about photos, so I will continue my photo shoots and post here, as always. Blogging has allowed me to become online friends with many kind, talented people. I greatly appreciate those of you who view my photos and comment. And I love reading your stories and seeing your wonderful photos.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, I’m feeling thankful for friends near and far and for my new opportunity to do what I love! I hope you are also doing what you love and will share some of the ways you have found happiness through work and hobbies.

My new layouts and products shown below. Happy To Create products used for my layouts listed under the gallery.

“Delicious Autumn” digital scrapbooking layout uses: Eclectic Autumn Maxi Kit; Chalk Talk Font

“Autumn Exercise” digital scrapbooking layout uses: Eclectic Autumn Maxi Kit; ScrapHappy Brushes Maxi: Paint Mess

“Young Visitor” digital scrapbooking layout uses: ScrapHappy Paper Templates: Grunge Patterns; Eclectic Autumn Maxi Kit; ScrapHappy Shapes: Centers MA01; ScrapHappy Shapes: Flowers MA02; SH_Shapes: Flowers MA03

“Meeting Mallory” digital scrapbooking layout uses: Maxi Embellishments Botanicals Autumn1; Maxi Embellishments Botanicals Autumn3; Maxi Embellishments: BotanicalsAutumn2; American Quilt Maxi Kit; Eclectic Autumn Maxi Kit; ScrapHappy Paper Templates: Woven Textures; Font Quirky

“Colorful Autumn” digital scrapbooking layout uses: Maxi Embellishments: Botanicals Autumn 2; Eclectic Autumn Maxi Kit;  Maxi Embellishments: BotanicalsAutumn1; Maxi Embellishments: Botanicals Autumn 3; ScrapHappy Dynamic Brushes Midi: Leaves VR01; ScrapHappy Brushes Mini: Bees; ScrapHappy Brushes Maxi: Colors Of Fall 2; Font Friendly

“Mr & Mrs” digital scrapbooking layout uses: Maxi Embellishments: Botanicals Autumn 3; Maxi Embellishments: Botanicals Autumn1; Maxi Embellishments: Botanicals Autumn 2; ScrapHappy Paper Templates: Grunge Patterns; EclecticAutumn Maxi Kit; Midi Embellishments: Just Frames


Sweetwater Creek in Autumn

We spent an afternoon at Sweetwater Creek State Park last week. We always enjoy the hiking trails, sense of history, and the soothing sound of water splashing in the rocky creek. I like the trail that leads to the ruins of the New Manchester Textile Mill. This structure was burned during the Civil War to hamper production of Confederate uniforms. Holes for windows and crumbling bricks create a haunting sight along the shadowy trail.

I used my least favorite lens that day;  an older Tamron 18-270mm. It gives me some trouble with a loose focus ring and other problems, but I knew I would need the wide focal length for shots of the creek and wooded areas. I used RAW format and expected to work on the processing quite a bit. However, these files were more desaturated than expected. Not even close to the color I saw that day. So I adjusted basic tonality, clarity, and vibrance settings in Lightroom. Then applied some Nik filters mostly for saturation, tonal range, and in some cases a gentle high key filter. I quickly discovered that processing autumn landscapes is not easy! The challenge was to reveal the range of colors while keeping them natural. I hope you enjoy these and please let me know if you have any tips for processing autumn tree photos!

All photos: Canon 60D, handheld.

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Enjoying Nature on My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, so it was the perfect excuse to take a break and spend some time outside. We decided to drive to Kennesaw Mountain for a leisurely afternoon of hiking. The weather was warm and the yellow autumn leaves were bright and beautiful in the sunlight. I enjoyed taking some photos on the trails, then we spotted a few deer near the base of the mountain. After a few minutes, one curious little doe broke away from the others to investigate a rake that was left near a pile of gravel. She approached it very timidly, sniffed, then quickly trotted back to the cover of the woods. I love deer and seeing them is always a great event for me! It was a happy day and just what I needed to relax and refresh my spirit.

All photos Canon 60D